Photo by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Día de los Muertos Cookies (Calaveras)

Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 12-14 minutes
Servings: 18 cookies
Día de los muertos cookies to celebrate the Day of the Dead is a great family project that can soon become a family tradition.

A fun family project is what this recipe for el día de los muertos cookies can be! It's so nice to get the kids involved with the cooking and baking process. They tend to look at the food in a whole different light. This is a basic cookie recipe that is adapted from the Mexican cookie called polvorones. It works great for these cut-out Day of the Dead cookies. The prep time above does not reflect the time for decorating. You can keep it simple or really get creative with the design of the calavera faces. I took a lot of help from the local craft store with the white cookie icing and sparkle gels. Make sure you save this recipe for the upcoming día de los muertos celebrations.


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  1. In a large bowl, cream the butter and powdered sugar until smooth. While mixer is on low, mix in the egg, vanilla and baking soda. Gradually beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the remaining flour.
  2. Divide dough into two equal parts. Roll into logs, wrap with plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350ºF. On a lightly floured, flat surface, roll the dough out to a 1/4-inch thickness. Dip the cookie cutter in flour and then cut your shapes out. Place onto parchment-lined cookie sheets.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 12 to 14 minutes or until edges are lightly golden. Cool completely before decorating.

Chef Notes

Make sure your cookies are completely cooled before attempting to decorate them. The dough can be prepared ahead of time. Chill overnight or freeze for a week.

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